Condo Collapse Three Takeaways
The devastating Surfside, Fla., condo collapse has left at least 98 people dead. Whether this disaster has a long-term impact on the real estate market is still being investigated. But developers are moving quickly to buy up decades-old buildings. Read on to learn about what has happened and what will happen next. In the meantime, this article will discuss the impact on real estate in general. Listed below are three main takeaways from the Surfside tragedy.
At least 98 people were killed in Surfside, Fla., condo collapse.
At least 98 people died in a condo building collapse in Surfside, Florida, on Saturday. Authorities have identified 92 of the victims. There are still about 242 people missing. The search for the remaining victims continues. The Miami-Dade Police Department has completed its search efforts. Rescue teams are still searching for the remaining human remains and personal items. As of Friday, there were no survivors.
The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s office released initial reports for 67 victims. Those reports list the causes of death as blunt force injuries and building collapse. Forensic experts, however, say these terms would not stand up in court. Instead, they say, the deaths are being investigated as a homicide, a death investigation. In this way, a criminal investigation cannot determine the actual cause of death.
The survivors’ families have filed 34 lawsuits against various parties, including the building’s owners and developer. The medical examiner’s reports and the USA Today investigation are crucial evidence for the legal cases. The study will also help determine whether the owner of the building was negligent. The Florida state attorney’s office will decide whether to pursue criminal charges. As of Wednesday, no arrests or criminal charges have yet been filed.
The victims included two teenagers and a woman. The survivor of the Surfside, Fla., condo collapse has been identified as Manuel LaFont. He lived in apartment no. 804 and had two children with his ex-wife. LaFont had picked up the children from their apartment several hours before the building collapsed. The Miami-Dade Police Department identified his body the next day.
After the building collapsed in June, police and families gathered in the same beach area, the same event occurred last year. As a result, the victims’ families want to know why the building collapsed and wish to access the site. The building was abandoned and put up for sale shortly before the collapse. Police will continue to search for additional remains and personal items.
Investigation continues into the cause.
The investigation continues into the cause of the tragic condo collapse in Florida. Six investigation teams are working to understand the cause of the collapse. Experts from NIST, a nonprofit organization that conducts disaster and failure studies, are studying the case. They are using drones and sensor data to determine whether structural issues may have contributed to the collapse. Outside experts are also assisting the NIST investigation. The Florida legislature passed a law to require more frequent inspections for older condo buildings, and new codes will be implemented by 2024.
The collapse of the building has led to the deaths of more than 90 people. Investigators are investigating whether there was an unsafe work environment in the building. One academic study concluded that the tower had been sinking since the 1990s. They will likely conduct geotechnical and geophysical surveys and use sensors to collect data. While the investigation is ongoing, it will probably take several years. Meanwhile, the building remains closed for repairs.
Federal investigators have interviewed witnesses, first responders, and anyone who may have been affected by the collapse. The 136-unit condo building had long-standing issues. Surviving residents shared details about increasing signs of disrepair and decay. They claimed that these signs went unnoticed. While the cause of the collapse is not yet known, investigators are investigating whether it was caused by sea-level rise or deferred maintenance.
One year ago, the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed, killing 98 people. The building’s collapse was one of the most tragic incidents in U.S. history. Federal and state agencies are investigating the spill. The Champlain Towers condo lawsuit says the building’s adjacent Eighty-Seven Park building damaged the condominium and destabilized it, necessitating major structural repairs. However, the lawsuit’s lawyers are battling to set the trial date for September.
The NIST investigation is a thorough one and is expected to take a while. However, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noted that two other studies are underway. The town of Surfside and the Miami-Dade County investigation could produce preliminary results sooner. These investigations may also look at the October 2018 engineering report that indicated significant structural problems with the building. A draft report may be published for public comment. In the meantime, the public is encouraged to give their opinions.
Developers are buying out decades-old buildings.
A new trend is emerging in the South Florida real estate market: developers are purchasing decades-old condos and planning to turn them into luxury properties. Before the apartment collapsed, developers were buying up old buildings. OKO Group purchased a building in Brickell a few years ago, and Mast Capital bought a 124-unit building in Miami Beach just one month before it collapsed. Developers are also willing to pay a premium for these buildings.
The developers were accused of bribing local officials and contributing to town board campaigns, which prompted Miami’s city government to urge a comprehensive structural inspection of taller condo buildings. The developers’ involvement in the project included donating to the campaigns of two town council members but demanded their donations back after the allegations surfaced. Some developers, including Nathan Reiber and his partners, are now facing legal action because of the failure of their condos.
A series of problems caused the building’s collapse. The engineer’s report listed a series of issues with the construction and included photographs of the weakened areas. If not corrected, the deterioration of the concrete would expand exponentially. And in addition to this, the developers are buying out decades-old buildings in condo collapse in Miami Beach. The new constructions, which include a new pool deck, will cost upwards of $15 million.
Reiber could not begin the construction of his condo in 1979 due to city government approval. He paid half the $400k sewer bill in exchange for the greenlight. Rival developers criticized his leniency. Reiber, a Polish-born Canadian, was later cited for tax evasion and other legal misconduct in Canada. Despite the scandal, he had a high-profile political career and was given the keys to the city.
After the Champlain Towers collapse, South Florida condos have become an easy target for developers. According to Miami-Dade County officials, the average price of a condo building in this area is $32,000. Many developers are buying up condos in this region for the same reasons. This trend is a good sign for the economy, but developers should do more to make these buildings safe. The collapse of Champlain South in Miami has put the value of older buildings in question, which is why developers are still purchasing condos instead of homeowners.
Impact on the real estate market
The collapse of Champlain Towers South in Florida may reshape the South Florida real estate market. Developers already buying old condo buildings have started tearing them down and developing luxury projects in their place. Some of these developers were already buying condos before the collapse, such as OKO Group, which purchased a 48-unit building in Brickell in 2017, and Mast Capital, which bought a 124-unit building in Miami Beach a month before it collapsed.
The collapse has already resulted in the deaths of 60 people and an estimated 80. The search and rescue operation will continue and turn into a recovery effort on Wednesday. Industry experts call it a wake-up call for special assessments and repair delays. Fortunately, most significant condos have already sent letters to owners notifying them of the collapse. However, many other complications with condo terminations and other bidders pile on, which can lead to no deal.
The worst impact of the collapse is expected to hit the more expensive older condos. The effect will likely be most significant in those buildings closest to the site of the failure. Meanwhile, lower-income condo owners will probably be forced to pay assessments or sell. And because of the impact on the real estate market, some experts are calling for a slowdown in prices shortly. But Glazer is optimistic about the market.
The condo collapse in Miami has opened up new opportunities for developers. While older buildings were off-limits to new buyers, older condo owners are now more open to selling. Because of concerns over costly repairs, many older buildings have become more attractive to buyers. This means the real estate market has experienced its lowest value in years. In many cases, this collapse has made the market more affordable for developers. The failure of the Champlain Towers South building in Miami may have opened the door for new condo sales.
The impact of the collapse on the Miami real estate market will be felt mid to long-term. The property market in Manhattan experienced a slowdown in 2017 and early 2019 but began to recover in 2020. However, the collapse of Surfside will shift the demand-supply dynamic in favor of new construction. Meanwhile, developers are not expected to lower prices in new developments and may experience more buyers in sales centers.